Our Senior Staff

Walden is fortunate to have a senior ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF that returns year after year. They are education professionals who have dedicated themselves to working with children as teachers, coaches, parents and grandparents. Their commitment to providing a positive camper experience is perhaps the most vital aspect of Walden’s success. You can find out more about them below.

Harvey Rubenstein

Assistant Director

Harvey has been in the camping business for half a century, and, along with wife Sharon, has been at Walden since 1973–a full 45 summers! A retired school teacher and former marathoner now based in Florida, Harvey runs the camp office and leads the trips to Mackinac Island. He is also the founder and CEO of Birthday Bingo, host of Harvey’s Fun Night, overseer of Harvey’s Relay-O-Rama and the best square-dance caller north of Gaylord and south of Mackinaw City. Harvey and Sharon’s grandsons are current and former Walden campers.

Often heard saying:

“it’s a double digit!”

Robyn Shapiro

Program Director

Legend has it that Robyn learned to crawl while a visitor to Walden–and then cried her entire first summer as a camper! Thirty years later, she practically runs the joint. Robyn makes sure that the days function smoothly, working closely with the unit programmers to develop Special Day and evening activities, while also overseeing staff duties, such as rounds and days off. During the school year, Robyn lives with husband Brian in West Bloomfield, MI,  and is an award-winning teacher of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Often heard saying:

“capiche?!”

Ann Bosenbark

Waterfront Director, i.e “Aquatic Empress”

Boz (rhymes with nose) started at Walden in 1981 as a tripper before assuming the reins of the waterfront. Her knowledge of Long Lake, of watercraft, and of cool sunglasses are invaluable assets. She oversees everything from kayaking to swim instruction and, not surprisingly, has the best tan on camp. Boz’s two dogs, Anders and Briggs, win the award for cutest pet couple on camp. Before retiring from her “real” job, Boz taught high school PE, including aquatics/water safety, in Napoleon, OH.

Often heard saying:

“to tarp or not to tarp? that is the question.”

Mark Goodine

Photographer/Media Director

Mark began his Walden career as a counselor in 1989. Now, he spends his days capturing the activities, antics and smiles of Walden’s campers and staff. You can find his beautiful pictures in our online photo gallery and hardback yearbook (and right here on this Web site!). In his “spare time,” Mark leads our rocketry program, drives camp buses and can turn a dollar bill into an elephant in just a few folds. He is a 5th grade teacher in the Kenston School District near Cleveland.

Often heard saying:

“nearly perfect”

Neal Levin

Walden Pond Editor

A Walden icon since the 1980s, Neal is a professional children’s writer and cartoonist, whose award-winning work has appeared in numerous magazines and books. His poem “Baby Ate a Microchip” is included in 2013’s “Poems To Learn By Heart,” a compilation edited by Caroline Kennedy. At Walden, Neal creates the daily Walden Pond newspaper, filling its columns with his inimitable characters, along with camper stories, poems and artwork. Neal also dreams up the clues for our Phantom mysteries and hides the much sought-after Pictured Rock. No one can figure out why Neal wears only yellow t-shirts during the summer–not even Neal.

Often heard saying:

“a strange thing happened to me on the way to breakfast…”

Jean Rakey

Outdoor Life Director

Jean, who counts entrepreneur and teacher among her professions, left the Walden fold in 1983, after six years as a trip leader. She returned in 2010 as the head of Walden’s Outdoor Life area, coordinating the overnight tripping program, as well as leading the ever-popular Outdoor Cooking and Animal Care activities. Jean is the person campers will talk to about adopting a kitten or bunny from Walden (or the person parents will talk to about relaying to your camper the firm message that “We will NOT be adopting a kitten  or bunny.”) Once known as “Mean Jean, the Campcraft Queen,” she is now a proud member of Walden’s “Ancient Badgers” club. The only mean thing about her is her raspberry cobbler. When not tending a campfire, Jean resides in suburban St. Louis.

Often heard saying:

“bunnies, kittens and frogs! Oh my!”

Peggy Rose

Athletics Director

Like Jean, Peggy also took time off between her stints at Walden, arriving first between 1978-1983 and returning in 1995. A singer and guitarist, she hosts the ever-popular evening program “Night with Peggy” for young and older campers alike. As the camp administrator with the healthiest lungs, Peggy also leads the breath-defying song “Mrs. Shady” several times a summer. Peggy resides in camp’s Flamingo Park with her cat Booboo, expert trapper of small woodland creatures. Her trailer is the final resting place for bent archery bows, unstrung tennis racquets, and crushed Frisbees. In the “off season,” she lives and works in Kansas City where she is a high-school PE/health teacher, coaching volleyball and track.

Often heard saying:

“it’s all good.”

Karen Spreen

Horseback Riding Director

Karen started at Walden “30-some” years ago, around the same time as Spoddy, Nasa and Big Man. She has cared for generations of Walden horses as if they were her own. Karen oversees Walden’s program of “on the flat” English-saddle riding at Walden, with a touch of Western throw in, while adding fun extras like Pasture Parties and the Adopt-a-Horse dress-up contests. A retired 1st-grade teacher, Karen lives in Cincinnati and follows the Derby scene almost as closely as she does the British royals.

Often heard saying:

“run back to your cabin and change those shoes!”

Martin Beek

Artist-in-Residence

Martin headed Walden’s Arts & Crafts program for 20 years, beginning in the early 80s. We are, once again, incredibly lucky to have him back at camp for five weeks each summer, during which he does what a professional painter does: Paints! His beautiful oil canvases of the Walden woods, meadows and people adorn our buildings and game room “gallery.” Hosting a working artist gives Walden campers the chance to watch a painting come to life, from Martin’s initial sketch to his final strokes of the brush.

Often heard saying:

“…” (Martin is actually a pretty quiet guy)